EVERYDAY GOALIE Channel on Vimeo (collected vignettes from 2012)
Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber hockey puck into their opponent's net to score points. In Canada and theUnited States, where the sport is very popular, it is known simply as "hockey"; however, the name ice hockey is used by the governing body IIHF and in most other countries. There the word hockey is generally reserved for another form of the sport, such as field hockey or roller hockey. The game is played between two teams with six players (five skaters and a goalie) on the ice. A team usually consists of four lines of three forwards, three pairs of defensemen, and two goalies. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Each team has a goaltender who tries to stop the puck from going into the goal or "net."
A fast-paced physical sport, hockey is most popular in areas of North America (particularly in Canada and northern parts of the United States) and Europe that are sufficiently cold for natural reliable seasonal ice cover. With the advent of indoor artificial ice rinks hockey has become a year-round pastime in some areas. In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men, and the most popular. It is the official national winter sport of Canada, where the game enjoys immense popularity. The first organized game was played on March 3, 1875, in Montreal, Canada.
Since 2001 I have been writing almost-daily email to the Prime Minister of Canada. My interest in The PM, and Canadian politics and Canadiana in general, has led me on an elusive search of a quintessential Canadian Identity. This research has naturally focused on hockey as it is an everyday sight within the urban Canadian environment: kids play in alleys, parks, rinks and parking lots while sports bars play NHL highlight clips non stop. In rural locations, unless one is playing pond hockey in the winter, seeing someone fully-equipped to play a game of pick-up wandering a beach is a bit strange. Especially if that someone is a goalie. Especially if that goalie seems all alone. Where is the rest of his team? And who is attempting to score on him? And what is he defending? In Canada, “we stand on guard for thee”. With The Everyday Goalie, I perform in the guise of this iconic figure, complete with Ken Dryden-style mask, standing guard. What I am guarding? It is never quite clear. The Canadian landscape? Canadian landmarks? History? Failure, futility, and a good dose of humour permeates these performances.
With Everyday Goalie project I question assumptions surrounding our collective identity by examining a winter sport that is often referred to as “Canada's National Obsession”. The performances and subsequent videos are episodic yet also rooted in place: our collective sense of place, our sense of identity as projected through the cliché of a vast landscape, and in particular how we as a nation of people are lulled into a false sense of unification, togetherness and national pride through sport.
CANADIAN ART article by Leah Sandals
EVERYDAY GOALIE teaser video, performance in St-Irénée, Chalevoix Québec, August 2012
EVERYWHERE The Everyday Goalie at Art in the Open in Charlottetown, PEI August 26, 2012